Sangha Update - February 3

close up of heart-shaped magenta, white, and green coleus leaf

Happy Valentine's Day

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. —Henry Van Dyke

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console, To be understood as to understand, To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all well and enjoying this bright winter day. Instead of seeking to be loved, may this new year find us exploring ways that we can all be better lovers! What a delightful practice!

I am out of the hospital and at home. The rehab process has been much more difficult than I had anticipated, but slow progress is being made . . . lots of opportunities for all kinds of practice for me! I feel the deepest gratitude to all of you who have supported the Sanghas, and I have been so moved by your love notes and offers of help of all kinds to me. Please continue to hold me in your prayers and meditations.

This is just a reminder that there will be a meeting of the Clear Heart Sangha this evening at 6 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County at the Lily Pads complex on North Road in Peace Dale. Clare will facilitate and the focus will be on the Five Mindfulness Trainings, which have been the focus for some months now. Tonight's discussion will focus on the formal transmission of the Five Trainings. We will be offering the ceremony later this spring, and tonight will be an opportunity to look at what a formal transmission is and how to prepare oneself for such a transmission if it is something that you feel would support your practice.

Since this will be the culmination of several months of using these trainings as the ground for the first of the month meetings, it is also a time of looking together at the direction our members would like to see this meeting take in the upcoming months. Clare has sent the following regarding some possibilities upon which we can all reflect . . .

from Clare . . .

"I would really appreciate feedback from sangha members on the topic for the first Sunday of the month sanghas held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County. Last year, we completed a study of the five mindfulness trainings. Here are some thoughts people have offered for the ground of our discussion for the next several months:

Five Mindfulness Trainings Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings Select sutra from the Chanting Book with Thay's commentary on it, like The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion No Death, No Fear Healing the Inner Child (Reconciliation) Answers from the Heart Fear (Thay's new book) Whatever other books you might be thinking of.

I am also exploring the possibility of hosting the aspirant meeting at my home either the last Saturday of the month 3 - 5 p.m. with occasional potluck to follow or the first Sunday of the month, prior to the sangha gathering at UUCSC. Welcome others thoughts (1 - 3 choices) about the next book to use and from the aspirants/OI members, their preference on the time that works best for them for the recitation ceremony."

You can discuss these things tonight and/or respond to Clare directly at clare2sartori@gmail.com.

I hope you have a wonderful gathering.

Also please remember that there will be a gathering of the Generations Sangha . . . a sangha for all ages, at the Westminster Unitarian Church on Kenyon Avenue in East Greenwich from 10-11:30 AM on Saturday, February 9th. The last gathering was lots of fun. If you have children or love being around children, this is a great opportunity to explore together ways of sharing our practice with folks of all ages. I hope you will be able to be with us.

Please remember, there will be no meeting the second Sunday of February . . . but starting in March, Cindy West has been generous and kindly offered her space for that meeting and subsequent ones. A deep bow of gratitude to Cindy!

The third Sunday meeting will be at our home, and I should be back in action by then!

Also remember that Thay's teachings can be accessed at tnhaudio.org.

The winter retreat teachings from Deer Park are available at deerparkmonastery.org, then click on the link "teachings," then scroll down, and click on "Ten Gates" to download the talks and the accompanying handouts.

Again, please accept my heartfelt thanks,

with much love, many hugs and my deepest gratitude for interbeing with each of you, Joanne